Archives for June 2020

Landscaping Adds To The Welcome In Iron Gate

If you drive into Iron Gate in the upcoming days, you may notice a fresh look. Members of the Iron Gate town crew, along with local volunteer Bridget Wright, have put down some special red mulch obtained from Union Church Millworks in order to provide a welcoming view to the thousands of drivers who use Rte. 220 on a daily basis.

Tuesday Coronavirus Update

There have now been 62,189 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with 6,164 total hospitalizations and 1,740 deaths.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done talking about why he pushed out a top health official during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor deflected multiple questions Monday about the forced resignation of former public health commissioner Cathy Slemp as he continued to doubt the accuracy of the state’s virus caseload numbers.

Justice has said he thinks the state’s active caseload may have been overstated, floating the idea that the tally could be exaggerated by around 300 cases, while providing little detail. He has blamed Slemp, who has worked for decades in public health, and suggested she was responsible for the discrepancy before having her removed from her post last week.

Hours after Justice’s news conference, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said caseload discrepancies emerged because local health departments didn’t clear active cases from the state’s electronic reporting system, and that the DHHR didn’t follow up to verify the data.

Monday COVID-19 Update

There are now 61,736 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Virginia with 6,136 hospitalizations and 1,732 deaths.

Virginia is launching a new program to help people struggling to pay their rent or mortgages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced that his administration is putting an initial $50 million in federal coronavirus-relief funds toward housing assistance. Starting this week, Virginians whose ability to cover housing costs has been hurt by the pandemic can apply for financial assistance.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice unveiled his plans for a $1.25 billion coronavirus aid package after months of questions over how he would spend the money.

The Republican governor’s strategy for the federal CARES Act relief fund was disclosed after local, state and federal officials urged him to distribute the cash as widespread business shutdowns hammered the economy. He has dismissed the demands as politically driven.

Justice said he will use roughly half the $1.25 billion to pad the state’s unemployment fund to ensure that jobless claims would continue to be paid. Local governments would get $200 million and small businesses would receive $150 million. Another $100 million would go to “COVID-19 related highway projects.”

AHS Graduation Plans

Alleghany High School’s 2020 Graduation will be held on Saturday, July 11, beginning at 9:30 am on Mountaineer Field. The graduation will be held in three stages in groups of approximately 50 students, based on the graduates’ last name. A similar plan will be followed in the event of inclement weather with five groups of thirty students staggered throughout the day, with the ceremony being held in Hodnett Hall, inside Alleghany High School. Beginning Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 9, graduates may stop by the main office at Alleghany High School between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, to pick up their tickets and receive complete details about the event.

Alleghany County Public Schools Summer School Bus Schedule

The Alleghany County Public Schools will provide transportation
on a limited and regional basis for the summer school programs
being held at Clifton Middle School. Alleghany High School and
Clifton Middle School summer school programs beginning July 6th
and ending July 29 th .
Approximate schedules are listed below and can be subject to
adjustment after the first few days of school. Parents are
responsible for getting the child to and from the bus stop and are
encouraged to supervise their children while at the bus stop.
Students should be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the
bus is anticipated to arrive. All times are approximate and not all
stops are listed. Please expect residual delays the first week of
summer school.

Kotulka Announces Retirement Effective September 30th

A change in plans for Alleghany County Superintendent, Eugene Kotulka. During this week’s board meeting, he announced his retirement.effective September 30th, 2020. His announcement came after the school board took out money that had been earmarked for a pay increase Kotulka said had been promised him by the board as part of his new contract. Initially, Kotulka had planned to retire at the end of the next school year.

Omni Homestead Resort Planning Monday Reopening

The Omni Homestead Resort is scheduled to reopen Monday. Officials there say the facility in Hot Springs has been closed since March 29th due to coronavirus concerns, one of 38 Omni properties affected by this suspension. They also say they’ll be following state guidelines for all restaurants and amenities and are implement new cleaning and guest interaction procedures, calling the safety of employees and guests a top priority.

Friday Coronavirus Update

There are now 59,946 total cases of COVID-19 in Virginia with 5,995 hospitalizations and 1,675 deaths.

Virginia is launching a new program to help people struggling to pay their rent or mortgages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a Capitol news conference Thursday that his administration is putting an initial $50 million in federal coronavirus-relief funds toward housing assistance. Starting next week, Virginians whose ability to cover housing costs has been hurt by the pandemic can apply for financial assistance.

“Virginians are facing a number of difficulties, but having a safe and stable place to call home shouldn’t be one of them,” Northam said.

Positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise across West Virginia on Thursday evening. The Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) announced 33 new cases of the illness. One new case was reported in Greenbrier County bringing the total there to 57. The total number of cases is 2,694 with 159,962 tests returned.

ABC Stores To Tweak Hours Starting Friday

Beginning on Friday, June 26, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) will adjust statewide store hours. Although a uniform opening time of noon will remain the same for all stores, individual store closing times will revert to normal, pre-pandemic closing times. Customers can check their local
store’s adjusted hours by visiting ABC’s store finder page,
The changes to store hours come on the heels of last week’s announcement that all stores that had been operating under a counter service model (where employees get your products for you) would revert to usual shopping mode. Beginning June 15 customers statewide were able to browse store aisles again.
Both changes to ABC’s retail operations reflect Virginia’s transition to Phase 2 of the commonwealth’s reopening plan.

Thursday Coronavirus Update

Virginia now has 59,514 cases of COVID-19 cumulatively, along with 5,995 hospitalizations, and 1,661 deaths.

The coronavirus has upended the way cities and states market themselves as summer travel destinations, and some tourism officials are just emerging from an especially awkward position: telling potential visitors to stay away. Virginia’s tourism office spent a year working on a summer marketing campaign only to halt it four days after its launch in March. Ads featuring a Seattle family’s vacation in the state were scrapped.
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that domestic travel spending will drop by 40%, from $927 billion in 2019 to $583 billion in 2020, because of the pandemic. That decline has tourism officials scrambling to salvage what they can.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice forced out the commissioner of his public health bureau on Wednesday, hours after he publicly questioned the accuracy of the state’s coronavirus data and detailed growing outbreaks in about a dozen counties.

The abrupt resignation of Cathy Slemp, who was also a state health officer, came after the Republican governor vented during a news conference that West Virginia’s active virus caseload may have been overstated.